Battling apathy.

Last week was my latest journey to the conference known as “New wine United”, and there’s a few things I need to mention before we get into today’s topic.

I wasn’t even supposed to be at United this year. God, however, had other plans – and to New wine I went. To be honest, I was actually really nervous about this year’s conference. It was the first year that I was basically the only person in my age group as most of my friends in that age group, for one reason or another, couldn’t come.

It was also the first year since attending United that I hadn’t camped with my original church. I instead went with the church I’ve been serving at for a number of years now. So it was really a strange year. Yet, I can say that it’s been a real blessing of a week honestly! Last bit of admin stuff before I get started properly; the rundown of the album “Zeal” by Kings Kaleidoscope should be up by the end of the month, I really want to make an effort to get back into investing in this page, something that I’ve been neglecting for the past year or so.

A lot of good came from this year’s United. After losing my job, God seems to have given me new direction and I’m no longer just sitting around wasting time. One thing that really stood out to me recently is something that was said during one of the morning talks at United – something that I really feel like God was calling me out on. During the morning talk on Tuesday, the speaker (Jordan Seng, he was incredible) said something to the effect of “it isn’t the spirit of opposition that kills faith, it’s the spirit of apathy”. As soon as I heard these words, I knew this was me. I’m someone that always puts off things that I should be doing instead of seizing the day… I always seem to aim to seize tomorrow instead. It wasn’t until the challenge posed by Jordan that I decided to try and do something about it.

The spirit of apathy is just as much our enemy as outright opposition. It’s a rather more subtle tactic of the enemy to separate us from doing the good works of Christ, and all the more deadly for it. When God asks us to step out and we meet that call with an “I’ll do it later Lord, I’m busy” or a “not now God, I really don’t feel like it, give me an hour” that’s a dangerous place for us to be in our faith.

When Jesus said the Kingdom is at hand (Matthew 3:2), he meant now. We’re called to bless others now, we’re called to pray for others now – not in a week or a month, but in the moment we feel the call of God to do so!

I think apathy is a much harder fight to win than one of outright opposition. At least for me, apathy is the silent killer of faith; at least when we’re angry with God, we know it. At least when we’re being attacked, we know that’s the case. How many times do we notice that we’ve lost our heart for doing God’s will? Or that we’re actively putting off what the Good Lord has called us into?

It’s a struggle that I have almost daily, for one reason or another I know that I put off doing the works that I’m called into, whether it be because I feel anxious about something, or I’m being flat out lazy, I know this is one of my biggest stumbling points, and I know for a fact that I’m not alone in this.

Now the question is, how do we tackle this? Well, this is still something I’m trying to figure out myself, but I asked for some advice while I was away, and what I was given was this:

“Make a list of things that you need to do today, think about out of that list what you’d most like to do and what you’d least like to do, then work your way up it, so start with what you’d least like to do and end with what you’d actually want to do, that way everything gets done.”

That was a great piece of practical advice. I was also told, always make time for God in your day. Honestly, that sounds fairly obvious, but it wasn’t until last week that I realised how much I really neglect this. How can you expect to understand God’s heart more if you don’t know him? How can you live for someone that you don’t really know?

The last bit of advice I was given was to read the Word more, something I know I always put off, even if unintentionally. I’ve been praying for a desire to read His Word more, and to understand the Scriptures in a deeper way.

The final thing I feel the need to say is, if you’re in the same boat as me in this then please don’t let this feeling of apathy turn to despair. This isn’t a post written to claim that I’m better than anyone, I’m nowhere near the man God is calling me to be, and if I’m honest, I’m writing about this stuff just as much for me as anyone of you wonderful people that happens to read this. I’m just a man, a broken and sinful man, and a man only as good as the grace of my Lord allows me to be. All fall short of the Glory of God (Romans 3:23) and it goes without saying that includes me. Let us remember when we fail to do the things that we really wish we were doing, we are in good company:

Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:20-25)

All who are born again “delight in the law of God” in our inner being, but too often to our shame “evil lies close at hand”. Let’s rejoice alongside Paul as he cries out “Who will deliver me from this body of death?” Who indeed – Jesus Christ our Lord! Be found in His grace, cry out to Him, and have confidence that He hears and provides.

Lord, I thank You for the love and care that You have for all of us. Let us be a people that love You and Your Word without exception. Help us remain engaged and looking forward to all the wonderful things You have planned for us, and all the things You want to use us for. Help us battle the spirit of apathy, and keep us hungry for more. Challenge us when we become content with our lives and our walk with You. Shake us out of slumber when we stop listening to Your call, and be with us in our storms of life. Make us better tomorrow than we’ve been today. Amen.

Thank you for reading and May God bless you.

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